Phone Calls May Help Keep Suicide at Bay in Bipolar Disorder

A novel telephone-based intervention to help ease the transition from inpatient to outpatient after a suicide attempt is showing definite promise as an effective suicide prevention strategy for people with bipolar disorder.

Dubbed the Coping Long-Term with Active Suicide Program for Bipolar Disorder, or CLASP-BD, the intervention was found to be feasible and acceptable to patients to reduce their risk for suicide in the 12 months following hospitalization for bipolar depression.

“Suicide risk in bipolar disorder is extremely high, arguably the highest amongst all the psychiatric disorders,” Lauren Weinstock, PhD, from Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, told Medscape Medical News.

“We feel, from a clinical perspective, that we really need to develop interventions that target suicide specifically if we are going to reduce this risk,” Dr. Weinstock said here at the 10th International Conference on Bipolar Disorders (ICBD).

Suicide Risk Forgotten After Hospital Discharge

As she was developing CLASP, Dr. Weinstock said she discovered that once patients were discharged from the hospital, the fact that they remained at risk for suicide was forgotten.

“We found this anecdotally, and it is actually quite alarming. After a suicide crisis, patients often go back to their community providers, and the providers may pay some attention to the suicide attempt immediately after the hospitalization, but in the months that follow, it doesn’t come up again in treatment. But the fact is, we need to continue to pay close attention to suicide risk, which remains very high in the first 12 months after hospitalization.”

by Fran Lowry, Medscape

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  1. I need help for me as a caretaker and for the person (simple schizophrenic) I’m caring for. Nobody is here, NAMI sux and there’s no support now 4 either of us. Thanks.

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